How to Start an Animal Rescue

Thinking of starting up an animal shelter? Doing so is one of the most commendable and compassionate things anyone can do, and you will find that the experience could be quite a rewarding one on a personal level besides. Apart from reducing the number of unwanted animals in the community, you will also facilitate the process of bringing one into a loving home. An added bonus also is making a family happy in the process.

Of course, starting up an animal shelter or animal rescue facility isn't a simple or straightforward undertaking. There are numerous factors to consider, each one integral to the quality of care that you will be providing. And since the primary purpose in starting up an animal shelter is to provide a safe and healthy environment for pets, you will want to ensure that you are able to adequately address these concerns. Here are some of the most important steps involve in operating your own animal shelter.

Get informed

It is important to learn as much as you can about running an animal shelter before you commit to the undertaking. If you don't already have experience, you could talk to people who have started their own shelters. Most will be happy to share information due to the non-profit nature of most shelters. You could also volunteer your time at a local shelter, which is a great way to pick up practical knowledge.

Get a team together

Starting up an animal shelter can be a daunting task, but it can be a lot more manageable with a good team in place. A qualified veterinarian is essential of course, but your efforts will also benefit from having a marketing specialist, support staff, and legal counsel.

Don't neglect the technicalities

Despite the non-profit nature of your operations, an animal shelter will benefit considerably from being run like a business. It is always a good idea to have a mission statement or plan of operations. This will help ensure that you stay on course, and that you are able to maintain a consistently high level of service.


The location is key to the effectiveness of your operations. Apart from ensuring that the shelter or rescue facility is located in a convenient area, you will also have to make sure that you have adequate space. Shopping around is essential, as is asking for property leads from people in the business.

Secure financing

Starting up and running an animal shelter will cost money, and you won't exactly be raking in big bucks to cover your expenses. Animal rescue is one of those noble undertakings that benefits greatly from the community as a whole pulling together and doing their part. A marketing specialist could be helpful in this regard, providing publicity and promotional services that will bring attention to your efforts, and possibly open up funding opportunities.

As you can see, there are many factors to consider when starting up an animal shelter. Nevertheless, you will find that it is quite a rewarding undertaking, from a professional as well as personal level.


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